As Canberra's Casino undergoes a $30 million redevelopment which also includes an upgrade to the convention centre and surrounding area the new owners quietly petition for 500 new pokies to be added to their property.
But Andrew, the ACT's Chief Minister won't have a Barr of it...
The Future Of Canberra's Clubs in Question?
An artists impression of the new AQUIS casino that has been proposed for Canberra
If the Casino wins its bid for pokies then the clubs of Canberra effectively lose their major playing card, and moving forward as the fight for patronage and business expands the Casino will quite literally eat up all the smaller establishments - establishments that rely heavily on gambling and pokie revenue to maintain their profits.
Andrew Barr who rejected the Casino's bid for an additional 500 Pokies said that the cabinet rejected it on the grounds of numbers, indicating that 500 was definitely too many.
"If some poker machines were allowed, the casino would be forced to pay more tax than clubs, to make higher community contributions than clubs and put in place more harm minimisation measures "over and above" those in clubs" he said.
He did not release other aspects of the government's thinking, beyond saying the government was still considering the bid in detail and would go public once it had told the casino of its final decision.
"There are certainly elements of the bid that have merit and that will create new jobs," he said.
The clubs are fighting hard to retain exclusive access to poker machines, saying their businesses depend on it – and if pokies are allowed in the casino, clubs will close.
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